August is almost upon us, and with it comes the annual return of The Philadelphia Orchestra to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The first week of the orchestra’s summer season at SPAC begins Wednesday, July 31. Enjoy a week of beautiful music, special pre-performance talks, and the latest installments in two series, Speakers @ SPAC and Cinema Series @ SPAC.
On Wednesday, July 31 at 8 pm, celebrate the start of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer at SPAC with Festive Fireworks. Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève will speak before the performance, which includes dancers from PHILADANCO and features Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, as well as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade, and Ravel’s La Valse. Enjoy an immersive evening of music, dance, fireworks, and canon firings, then top off Opening Night with Freihofer’s Live at the Jazz Bar with the Hot Club of Saratoga at 10 pm.
Concertgoers can also enjoy a full slate of events on Thursday, August 1. At 2 pm, attend Beyond Baroque, conducted by Stéphane Denève and featuring works by Palestrina, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Bach, including Toccata and Fugue in D minor as orchestrated by Stokowski. Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba, will give the Pre-performance Talk.
Then at 8 pm on Thursday, attend this week’s Speakers @ SPAC for another informative discussion of water and how it influences our lives. Sandra Postel, author of Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity and founder of the Global Water Policy Project, will discuss the impact and issues of freshwater.
On Friday, August 2 at 8 pm, return to SPAC for Songs of the Sea. The night’s performances are conducted by Stéphane Denève and feature pianist Janice Carissa, who will speak before the show. Works include SPAC premieres of Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral” from Preludes and Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” from his opera Peter Grimes, as well as other works by Debussy and Ravel.
Round out the week on Saturday, August 3 at 8 pm with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert, an installment of the Cinema Series @ SPAC. The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Justin Freer, will perform John Williams’ original score while the movie is being screened.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will be at SPAC through August 17.